Moonage Daydream is a 2022 documentary film about English singer-songwriter David Bowie. Written, directed, produced and edited by Brett Morgen, the film uses previously unreleased footage from Bowie’s personal archives, including live concert footage. It is the first film to be officially authorized by Bowie’s estate, and takes its title from the 1971 Bowie song of the same name. (Wikipedia)
Well, technically, Moonage Daydream isn’t really a documentary in the traditional sense. There are no narrators, interviewees and the only voice you really hear is Bowie’s. There is no linear biographical data about Bowie’s life whatsoever. Most of the music featured are live tracks with not a single Bowie recorded song featured in its entirety (apart from the end credits). So to call the film a documentary is really for the sake of the mass audience – anybody who isn’t really a Bowie fan!
Moonage Daydream is more a sonic-visual collage acid trip that strikes true to the heart of Bowie’s creative post-modernist spirit. And as we alluded to before, the film is really for the diehard Bowie fan. We would expect that non-fans would be somewhat bewildered by this film – especially if they expected to find out something about Bowie’s life. That’s not director Brett Morgen’s intent whatsoever. But if you are a diehard Bowie fan, then this film is an absolute masterpiece!
Bowie fans will recognise all the visual and sonic cues provided throughout – not only from Bowie’s oeuvre but also from the world of film and post-modern art. References to Andy Warhol, William Burroughs, Philip Glass, Caspar David Friedrich and films like Nosferatu and The Seventh Seal et al would probably be again confusing for anyone without an art or film history background but nothing is explained whatsoever.
In the final analysis, Moonage Daydream is not recommended for everyone but only for Bowie fans and anyone who loves music, film and conceptual art. Kudos to Brett Morgen for capturing Bowie’s soul in this two hour plus homage to the legend.
Now showing at the Projector.
… still there’s more …